Reflecting on place: Environmental education as decolonisation

Australian Journal of Environmental Education 35 (3):239-249 (2019)
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Abstract

We argue that to face climate change, all education, from kindergarten to tertiary, needs to be underpinned by environmental education. Moreover, as a site of reframing, education when coupled with philosophy is a possible site of influencing societal reframing in order to re-examine our relations to nature or our natural environment. However, we contend that as philosophy has been largely absent from curricula, it is vital to redress this issue. Further, the environment cannot be viewed simply as subject matter for study but, reconceptualised in the Indigenous sense as Place. Only in this way can we overcome the human-nature divide. We conclude that educators must look for what Plumwood calls ‘experiences that do not fit the dominant story’ to disrupt an important link in the chain of climate change by developing ‘traitorous identities’ able to challenge the dominant culture.

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Simone Thornton
The University of Wollongong
Gilbert Burgh
University of Queensland

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